Friday, December 28, 2007

Busker du Jour • The one and only "Gazzo"

Street performer, originally uploaded by kmsummers.

Off the web

venn Fingers, originally uploaded by diskgrinder.

Quote du Jour

"Often I think writing is a sheer paring away of oneself leaving always something thinner, barer, more meager."

– F. Scott Fitzgerald

Ho Ho Ho

, originally uploaded by Dai Vernon.

Recently sold on Ebay • Robert Houdin Fan


These fans were given to attendees to the Robert Houdin Theater. Beautiful detail, showing one side the entrance to the theater and the obverse several of the illusions to be performed, including his famous "Corne de Abondance".

It is estimated that this particular fan was made c 1850's, during the tenure of Pierre Ettiene Chocat (1612-1877) as director of the Theater from 1852-1861.

The fan is in remarkable state of near perfect conservation, bright and crisp and most importantly lovingly cared by all former owners for all these years.

This fan sold for a mere $6,300

Santa Monica • Ocean Blvd.

Santa Monica • Ocean Blvd., originally uploaded by Dai Vernon.

These pics were taken on Christmas Eve Day. I was working the Santa Monica Third Street Promenade. It was in the mid 70's and I got to say life is good. I wish the tips were better but the beautiful day was good enough for me.

Later that night Polly and I went out for Chinese food.

Tom Frank • Magician, originally uploaded by Dai Vernon.

HD Video Review

HD Video Library


April 2007 • I think this was the first tape I shot in HD

April 12th Polly in Living room 6430 Charlesworth

April 13th 11:37AM Backyard and Driving w/ Polly

April 13th 7:00PM Jersey Jim working the City Walk

Cups & Balls interesting shoot from the bridge above

Alfie in 24P

Duck Boy and Cinema Plaza



April/May 2007

April 28th Hanging w/ Gordy

May 1st 9:37AM Polly & Gordy talking about watering system

May 1st 6:44PM Hanging w/ Chris Korn at a bar talking about false cuts. Chris and I demonstrate some esoteric false cuts. Chris amazes the waitress.

May 2nd 11:36AM Polly cutting my hair in Kitchen of 6430 Charlesworth

May 3rd 11:28AM Fun at the Getty Villa in Malibu

May 3rd 2:36PM Lunch at Malibu Fish Joint

May 3rd 2:42PM Parachute Surfer

May 3rd 6:06PM Polly back at home

May 3rd 6:15PM Driving to City walk w/ Pops
Dad tapes me working

May 3rd 8:33PM Flattop works Fountain Court

May 10th 1:08 PM Backyard practice footage Coin Magic

May 10th 7:29 PM City Walk Cards (poker deal, Dr. Daley)


May 2007

May 5

Rumba Room
Hollywood Hills From City Walk
City Walk Kids in fountain and Cool Breeze

May 7th 2:19PM Venice Beach Kam & Korn

Curtis performs a coin routine
Chris do a little bit

May 9th 1:06PM Amoeba Records

Entrance from garage
Retail showroom

May 9th 7:12PM Practice footage at citywalk

Low camera angle(table top)
4 Ace production
Cigar and cards macro - great resolution. How do I exploit macro shots they’re bad ass

May 12th 4:19PM City Walk

Sha Shaty - Sax Player at City Walk
Alfie - Magician at City Walk (He was in the Prestiege as the Magician who killed the canary)

May 13th 11:48PM Cubanis (Dead cover band) Venice beach Club Good Hurt

Aaron Fisher & Alex hanging out after the club

May 15th 12:05PM

Beautiful Kind Bud Shot
Sam, Working Hollywood & Highland pitching decks and doing tricks. He gave up street performing after a month of struggling. Not as easy as it looks. I bought all of his inventory from him.

Daniel Davenport Ball maipulation

May 16th 7:32PM Practice Footage from City walk

Thursday, December 20, 2007

got there at the right time, originally uploaded by venicewow.

OUCH! Lets hope they spelled his name right

Extraordinary Deceptions: A Magical Holiday Extravaganza
(Powerhouse Theater; 75 seats; $25 top)


A Powerhouse Theater presentation of a magic show in one act, conceived and performed by Michael Gutenplan. Directed by Ryan Dixon.

Michael Gutenplan's amiable, low-key display of prestidigitation could hardly be dubbed an "Extravaganza," and the only nod to the holidays is a medley of pre-recorded Christmas tunes that precede the perf. What does live up to the show's title is Gutenplan's deceptive sleight-of-hand mastery as he performs up-close-and-personal with various members of the audience. Under the loose guidance of helmer Ryan Dixon, Gutenplan projects a casual, almost bumbling persona as he works his way through a number of traditional magic-trick formats.

Maneuvering around a small stage strewn with myriad decks of cards and other paraphernalia, Gutenplan appears to lack confidence, as if his routines are not completely polished. They are indeed. Though youthful in appearance, he is an old-fashioned closeup magician. Gutenplan exhibits an impressive dexterity with cards and money, complimented by impressive feats of mind reading and extrasensory prediction.

The low-energy concept of "Extraordinary Deceptions," however, does not quite have the legs for a proscenium stage. It is much more suited to a magician's parlor, where the audience is closer to the action.

Every routine requires an assist from an audience member. Gutenplan works through a number of variations on the standard "guess the correct playing card" and marked bill routines. At one point, the correct bill is found within a sliced lemon. His most impressive card turn occurs when he asks an audience member to tear off the end of a card and keep it. After a few "red herring" ploys, the rest of the card is recovered from within a sealed envelope stored in a small box recovered from under another audience member's seat.

His mind-reading ploys include guessing the correct word from a randomly chosen paragraph from a randomly chosen book page, selected by audience volunteers.

The least successful routines involved unsatisfactory machinations with a paint gun and a saw. Following much bravado in explaining how he was going to catch a paint ball pellet in his teeth from a fired gun, Gutenplan's clumsily telegraphed resolution to the routine undercut its dramatic effect.

Lighting, Max Pierson; stage manager, Justin Peterson. Opened and reviewed Dec. 3, 2007. Runs until Dec. 30. Running time: 55 MIN.

Chris Korn • House Party Performance

Went to a gig with my pal Chris Korn. He was entertaining at a nice Sherman Oaks home not far from where I live. The event, a 44th Wedding Anniversary Party. My purpose of being there was to video tape the gig.

We both agree that these types of gigs are wonderful opportunities to have some fun. Smaller audiences and a close-up show give the magical entertainer a good look into the hearts and minds of every person in the audience.

Chris gave an hour and twenty minute performance with a brief intermission to snack and refill drinks.

In the 20+ years I’ve know Chris, I had never seen him work for “real people”. I’ve seen some of his television performances, but this was my first time seeing him live. He did a great show and entertained the group thoroughly. The video turned out nicely and I edited it down to an hour of solid magic.

The best word I can use to describe how I felt was. . . proud. I’ve watched Chris grow up and mature, as a person, a magician and a performer.

How lucky I am to have such talented friends.

Chris is now back in St. Louis celebrating the holidays with his family.

Not much to say

Polly off work indefinitely. I went to the wrap party and had a good time enjoying sushi and the gag reel. They’ll go back to work, to shoot the back nine (episodes), 5 weeks after the WGA Strike ends. Whenever that might be.

I don’t mind having her around more. As you might have guessed, I love her a lot.

As for me, December continues to be a tougher month than it should. Is the strike, the rain, the economy? Hell, I don’t know. What I do know, is I’m out there, doing the best job I can.

Bottom line is: I am a lucky and blessed individual. My job is to make other people happy. Life is full of magic and unexpected wonder. I count my blessings daily.

More rain today 50/50 odds of working tonight.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Going to work

, originally uploaded by Dai Vernon.

, originally uploaded by Dai Vernon.

Only gig of the season • Ho Ho Ho

Last week, I got a call from Vaclav asking me if I was available to do a strolling gig with him. The client, Latham & Watkins, is one of the largest law firms in the world. I jumped at the chance to book a real gig . . . and what a gig it was. Anytime you have to switch elevators at the 54th floor to go to the 72 floor you know both the gig and the view are going to be interesting.

In a nutshell the party was a blast. Lots of food, booze and happy people. Both Vaclav and I proceeded to amaze, amuse and mystify as many people as we could. The view was spectacular. We arrived at 4 and worked till 7PM enjoying an amazing LA sunset atop the tallest building west of the Mississippi.

After working the streets solid for the last year, I had forgot how good it feels to do a gig where people are excited to see you work. The audience reactions were a welcome counterpoint to my usual grind. My chops were on fire as I strolled the party entertaining small groups of people left and right. A jazz band played nice music as top shelf liquor flowed freely. Shrimp, the size of small rats piled beneath a large ice sculpture, and exotic hors dourves, served all evening.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Gig Last Night

Did a gig last night for Latham & Watkins LLP (A high power law firm) at the top of the U.S. Bank Tower (Library Tower, First Interstate World Center) at 633 West Fifth Street in downtown Los Angeles, California, United States is the eighth tallest building in the US, the tallest North American skyscraper west of Chicago, the tallest building in California, and the tallest building with a helipad on the roof (required by the city building code). Standing 1,018 feet (310 m) high, it is also one of the tallest in the world (28th as of 2008). Until the construction of Taipei 101, it was also the tallest structure in a major active seismic region; its structure was designed to resist an earthquake of 8.3 on the Richter Scale. It consists of 73 stories above ground and two parking levels below ground. Construction was started in 1987 and was completed in 1989. The building was designed by Henry N. Cobb of the architectural firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and cost $350 million to build. It is one of the most recognizable buildings[citation needed] in Los Angeles, often used in establishing shots for the city in films and television programs.

The building is also known as the Library Tower due to its location across the street from the Los Angeles Central Library; it was built as part of the $1 billion redevelopment of the Library following two disastrous fires in 1986. The City of Los Angeles sold air rights to the developers of the tower to help pay for the reconstruction of the library. The building was also known for a time as First Interstate World Center after being bought by First Interstate Bank. After First Interstate merged with Wells Fargo Bank the name Library Tower was restored. In March 2003 the property was leased by U.S. Bancorp and the building was renamed U.S. Bank Tower. Residents, however, generally continue to refer to it as the Library Tower.

The tower has a large glass "crown" at its top that is illuminated at night. The crown is lighted with red, white, and blue on 4 July and red and green during the Christmas holiday season. It is also lit with purple and gold when the Los Angeles Lakers are playing in the NBA Playoffs and blue and white on Opening Day for the Los Angeles Dodgers. On February 28, 2004, two U.S. Bank logo signs, each standing 75 feet (23 m) high, were installed on the crown, amid controversy for their effect on the aesthetic appearance of the building (as was the case previously when First Interstate Bank's logos were placed on the crown between 1990 and 1997).

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Birdie McClaine • Juggler • Archive Video • Click Here

Autumn Shades 24 x 19, originally uploaded by Charles Blackburn.

Daddy's Tune

A dirty wind blows through the sky
And the Autumn leaves cut loose and fly
Leave me watching
And wishing I could follow
Though among the regrets that I can't get by
There are just one or two
Unkind things I said to you
Daddy what was I supposed to do?
I don't know why it was so hard to talk to you
I guess my anger pulled me through

No sooner had I hit the streets
When I met the fools that a young fool meets
All in search of truth and bound for glory
And listening to our own heart beats
We stood around the drum
Though it's fainter now
The older I become
Living your life day after day
Soon all your plans and changes
Either fail or fade away
Leaving so much still left to say

But Daddy I want to let you know somehow
The things you said are so much clearer now
And I would turn the pages back
But time will not allow
The way these days just rip along
Too fast to last, too vast, too strong

Somewhere something went wrong
Or maybe we forgot the song
Make room for my forty-fives
Along beside your seventy-eights
Nothing survives
But the way we live our lives

- Jackson Browne

Divorce & Christmas

Christmas 2002 was the last Christmas that I spent with my kids as a family. How would I know that less than six months later, I would be out on my ear with a restraining order preventing me from seeing my kids

Whatever. . bla bla, bla. Fast forward five years. I enter a toy store in Santa Monica, to look for Christmas gifts for my kids. My heart sinks. Confronting the holidays without my children is still something that cripples my soul. Looking for gifts for children I don’t know. We’ve grown apart.

I’d hop on a plane today if she would let me see them, or buy them all tickets to visit me during their break. But that’s not the way it works in my world. Lets just say it’s hardest during birthdays and holidays. They don’t want to talk to me on the phone or communicate by mail much. I’ve asked to be able to e-mail with them, IM or Video Chat, but once again, that would make my life too easy.

But I refuse to go to “That” place. I wish my pregnant ex-wife and my kids all the happiness I wasn’t able to give them. The irony is, now that I have all the time in the world to devote to my kids, I’m not allowed to even see them.

Well life is funny that way. I’ll put in a call to see what they would all like for Christmas, and be lucky to get a call back.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cups and Balls Magician

Cups and Balls Magician, originally uploaded by Dai Vernon.

Tom Frank • Magician, originally uploaded by Dai Vernon.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Tim Eric • Escape Artist • Click Here

Dirty Sexy Money Lunchtime

Forever winging it. Trying to figure it out as I go. Life plods on and moves forward, like a line of preschoolers, all out and about, with one hand on a tow line with evenly spaced knots to hold.

Little chilly today, unless your in the sun. . . which I am. Enjoying a nice smoke in the back yard before, I go to work in a couple of hours. Met Polly at Paramount to go to lunch.

Shared a golf cart with Donald Sutherland on our way back to the trailer. He was standing up in the back holding on to the roof of the cart, looking like a parade marshall with that white head of hair of his and sporting a tuxedo. Polly was driving and thinking that if he fell, her career was over.

It’s fun visiting Polly at work. I’m getting friendly with some of the cast and crew and while doing a little impromptu performance in the hair and make-up trailer, got to entertain Blaire Underwood with a quick card trick between scenes.

Another early day for the Dirty Sexy Money gang. Polly had a 4:42AM call time this morning. I was getting ready for bed when she was waking up. So we got to spend some wee hour cuddling in bed before she had to get up and go.

Attic Jams Archive Video • Click Here

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Trouble in Tinsel Town

Tom Short, president of IATSE, issued this statement, blasting the collapse of the talks:

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 7 – In the wake of the collapse this afternoon of talks between striking Writers Guild of America and the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers, IATSE President Thomas C. Short has issued a scathing denunciation of the WGA’s lack of good faith bargaining.

Short, who has been critical of the lack of experience and competence of WGA leadership since late last year, predicted the breakdown of talks, and has repeatedly accused the WGA’s Patric Verrone and David Young of irresponsibility in their pursuit of a new contract with the producers.

Beginning with the cancellation of their own scheduled early negotiations that were to have taken place in January, the WGA has intended, according to Short, that the strike take place and disrupt not only the film and television industries in Los Angeles, but ancillary businesses as well. The halt in production caused by the strike has now spread nationwide and will soon reach beyond the US as several high profile feature films have been cancelled or put on hold until the strike is resolved.

Likening the WGA leadership to “a huge clown car that’s only missing the hats and horns,” Short has been infuriated that among the WGA contract points has been the illegal and unethical poaching of IA members in reality television now covered by IATSE Editors Local 700, and animation writers, members of Local 839, who have been covered by the IA for over 50 years. Said Short, “Even if the AMPTP wanted to give the WGA jurisdiction of animation writers they couldn’t. It’s not theirs to give. Those are IATSE members who have been part of our International for over half a century.”

With over 100 television shows shuttered and numerous features off the schedule, the resulting devastation to members of the IA is growing daily. “I don’t believe the WGA ever intended to bargain in good faith,” said Short. “And they are destroying a lot of lives in the process. As a result of their irresponsible and irrational behavior, the number of IA members who have lost work is fast approaching 40,000 people representing members all over the US and Canada. Unless and until the WGA leadership starts behaving responsibly, which is unlikely, not only wages, health insurance coverage and pension benefits will be lost. Homes and businesses will be lost, too.”

The IATSE is an International Union that represents members employed in the stagecraft, motion picture and television production, and trade shows industries throughout the United States, its Territories, and Canada.

Big tits not enough for entertainment starved audience

Last night brought an end to the exclusive Las Vegas engagement of Hans Klok’s “The Beauty of Magic” - meaning it was curtain call time for magician’s assistant Pamela Anderson.

After spending Friday night cozying up with Criss Angel at LAX nightclub, the Baywatch babe went back to work one last time - doing her best to give paying guests their money’s worth.

The final performance brought an end to a six-month run that opened up to positive reviews back on June 2nd.

From here, it shouldn’t be all that tough to find herself more work. Just last week, she was voted TV’s Sexiest Woman Ever in a well-recognized online poll.

According to press reports, “The 40-year-old pin-up topped the list on AOL, with the website’s editors giving her the top honor for taking ‘bodacious to a new level’.”

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Michael Andrew Frank Archives 1993

magician, originally uploaded by sieWee.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Archive Video • Click Here

Colorful Clouds After Rain, originally uploaded by Solsonic.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Magician sues over cartoon Jesus

Metrano claims Family Guy stole his act


Family Guy is being sued again, this time by a spoof magician who claims the show stole his act – and gave it to Jesus.
Seventies entertainer Art Metrano claims the cartoon ripped off his deliberately rubbish tricks in a scene showing how Christ’s miracles had been overstated.

The animated comedy then cut to Jesus performing an act Metrano’s lawsuit says is ‘identical in music, sound and action’ to his own.

Metrano, who played Captain Mauser in two of the Police Academy films, wants more than $2 million in damages for each of four alleged infringements of copyright and other rights, plus unspecified punitive damages.

Here’s his act:

And here’s the Family Guy clip:

Earlier in the year, veteran comedian Carol Burnett launched a similar lawsuit over a parody of her act in the show, but it was thrown out by a federal judge.

Incidentally, Art Metrano’s own website plays the A-Team theme tune, with no acknowledgement of the music’s copyright holders.


Ray-Mond, originally uploaded by Carroll Arts Center.


Ray-Mond, originally uploaded by Carroll Arts Center.

More BS

Nice days on the west coast. Work continues to be weak. I can’t make it happen if it’s not there. I’m sure holiday traffic will start at some point, I’m just getting impatient.

Evenings ending early, leaving me wondering if I should stay longer for chump change or spend some time in the evening with my sweetie. Bottom line is, I know when the money is there and I make it happen. If it’s not there, I grope on my girl. Not a bad plan, if I do say so myself.

I enjoy my time at the City Walk and the rest of my time doing as little as possible. I watch lots of movies, plenty of football, take nice cigar walks on the beach and have mastered the art of chill’en.

I think about a lot of things like the role of passion in ones life. I’m lucky in that department. No shortage of passion in my life. My life is my art and my art is my life. I’m like a big 3D collage of expression, experiences and just enough pain to make things interesting.

Life is good. I went to Santa Monica the other day for a walk. Walking on the beach for me is like hitting a reset button in my brain. Hearing the waves crash and feeling the sand between my toes as I walk makes me feel like a little kid. I walk and think about my life. I walk and fill my heart will good thoughts and feelings.

Tonight I look forward to going to work and making as many people as possible happy. I never get tired of that look in peoples eyes when they feel the magic.

Another fine day wasted away in the pursuit of relaxation. I like it best that way. Gives me plenty of energy for the work I need to do tonight. It has to be better than the last two evenings . . . . I hope.

Writers Strike Continues

30 Days of Strike: The Month In Review

By Peter Clines

For many of us, the past month has been a whirlwind of picketing, news reports, and negotiating-room hearsay. With the flood of information available, a fair share of rumors have been treated as fact while other, more relevant stories were all but ignored. As the strike hits the ominous 30-day mark, Creative Screenwriting re-examines some of the major events of the past four weeks, including a few that probably didn't receive all the press they should have.

Monday, Nov. 5-Members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) go on strike and begin to picket studios after the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) walk out of negotiations the night before, claiming a lack of faith. The picket lines are immediately joined by members of the Teamsters and the Screen Actors Guild. Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards all pledge their support.

Nov. 6-Production shuts down on the hit sitcom The Office after lead actor Steve Carell refuses to cross a picket line. Ellen DeGeneres returns to work on her talk show and receives scathing criticism from the WGA and strike supporters.

Nov. 7-Fox fires many writing assistants and associated staff from struck shows. The network also announces the indefinite postponement of season seven of 24, citing a desire to give the show "its standard uninterrupted run" when it does air. Desperate Housewives and Law & Order: SVU also cease production due to lack of scripts.

Nov. 9-The WGA stages a rally at Fox studios, and over 4,000 writers and supporters show up. Speakers include WGA President Patric Verrone and Family Guy creator/showrunner Seth McFarlane. McFarlane compares the earlier firing of his staff to an abusive parent slapping a helpless child and saying, "Look what you made me do!"

Nov. 10-In New York, Broadway stage hands go on strike, closing over two-dozen theatrical shows, including The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

Monday, Nov. 12-The "Voices of Uncertainty" video appears on YouTube, showing news interview clips of Sumner Redstone, Rupert Murdoch, and other media moguls proudly announcing how much money they are making and will continue to make off digital revenues. Also on this day, the Producers Guild of America (PGA) sends letters to Variety and Deadline Hollywood asking that the AMPTP not be referred to as "producers" in future reporting. NBC fires the entire staff and crew of The Office.

Nov. 13-David Letterman announces he will pay all WorldWide Pants employees on The Late Show and The Late Late Show out of his own pocket through the rest of the year, even though production has shut down.

Nov. 14-A poll conducted by Pepperdyne University shows that 69% of the public supports the writers. Support for the AMPTP comes in at 4%. A similar poll by SurveyUSA shows writer support at 63%.

Nov. 15-Singer Garth Brooks cancels a scheduled appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show in support of the strike. Production shuts down on The Bionic Woman, one of several shows kept on the air despite sagging ratings.

Nov. 16-Both sides announce that they will resume negotiations after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. This same day, production is pushed indefinitely on Ron Howard's Angels & Demons (a prequel to The DaVinci Code) due to script issues. Screenwriter Akiva Goldsman is on picket lines.

Monday, Nov. 19-Several media buyers (the folks who buy advertising time from television networks) announce the possibility of asking for refunds or renegotiations if the strike continues into the next month and affects the second financial quarter. On this same day, CBS news writers vote to authorize a strike, although one is not called. Production is also pushed indefinitely on Johnny Depp's passion project Shantaram, with a screenplay by Eric Roth, and on the Weinstein Company's Nine, being adapted by Michael Tolkin. Both films claim unresolved script issues as the reason for the delay.

Nov. 20-The WGA stages a march down Hollywood Blvd., starting at Ivar and ending at the legendary Chinese Theatre. Singer Alicia Keys performs at the start of the rally. The screenwriters are joined again by actors and Teamsters, along with members of the Service Employees International Union and the California Nurses Association. Estimates again put attendance at over 4,000.

Nov. 21-Picketing ends for the long holiday weekend. Brad Pitt bows out of Universal's State of Play, claiming the script by Matthew Michael Carnahan is not ready to shoot. Carnahan is unavailable for rewrites because of the strike.

Nov. 22-Thanksgiving Day. The first of the "Speechless" videos appears on the web, a series of public service announcements conceived by director George Hickenlooper (Factory Girl) and screenwriter Alan Sereboff (Snowblind), hoping to show the public the vital importance of writers in the creative filmmaking process.

Monday, Nov. 26-Strike talks finally resume under a media blackout. On this same day, NBC announces a deal with Netflix to offer episodes of hit shows like 30 Rock, The Office, and Friday Night Lights the day after they air via the "Watch Now" online service.

Nov. 27-Late-late night talk show host Carson Daly crosses picket lines and returns to work despite harsh criticism from the WGA and supporters. He claims he has supported the strike for three weeks and now must support his staff.

Nov. 28-Democrats cancel a televised presidential debate on CBS, scheduled for December 10th, when the candidates announce they will not cross possible picket lines. At the negotiating table, the WGA presents their latest offer for a contract, complete with an economic breakdown of what it would cost on a per-studio basis.

Nov. 29-Conan O'Brien announces he is paying his staff members out of his own pocket, even though production on Late Night has been shut down. After three days of pushing their pre-strike deal and conditions, the AMPTP finally presents a new set of offers, which the WGA refers to as "a massive rollback."

Nov. 30-The Broadway strike ends after less than three weeks. Theatrical producers stress that the important matter was always reaching a mutually agreeable compromise and getting the shows up and running again as quickly as possible.

Monday, Dec. 3-Twentieth Century Fox prepares to close a deal that will make its films available on iTunes, one of the main conditions being that Apple must raise prices. On this same day, the last new episode of Heroes airs on television with a somewhat truncated ending written before the strike by creator Tim Kring so fans could have some closure. During commercials, as always, NBC urges fans to watch whole episodes online at the network website.

Dec. 4-The summer blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End is released on DVD. If it does as well as Dead Man's Chest (which had almost $5 million in sales its first day on the shelves), long-time Pirates scribes Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio can expect a little less than $6,700 in writing residuals under the current system.

With the holidays closing in fast, it can only be expected that both sides will be even more active in the month to come. And yet, Creative Screenwriting still hopes there will be no need for a second recap at the start of next month.


Fat and lazy, my day is hazy

Tunes cranked up, found a VHS tape in the garage. Brought it inside and popped it in the player. LIVE RUST, classic Neil. . . the stuff I listened to back in the day.

boxes of crap, a box with an old passport in it. Back when his name was Buster. His social security card in it. Buster Thomas Frank. I love that kid and miss him a lot. We haven’t spoken in a year at this point. Despite weekly attempts to communicate with him, it’s clear that he wants nothing to do with me. Sound familiar? They say history repeats itself, well; in my case it has so many times, you would think I would get the picture.

Sedan Delivery at FULL volume, singing along with the tape. Rock’en out in the valley, right on. Powder Finger, like an old friend. The music of my misguided youth. Has to be loud.

Blank stares from strangers
stopped to watch just because

Trying to connect
wanting things to make sense

Need to escape
in a cloud of cigar smoke

Pumping gas at the corner station
always wanted life to feel like a vacation

Moronic ramblings in the early afternoon. I tell myself I want to write more, expand a little. What’s stopping me? At times I feel like I have some things to say. Not sure where my life is heading, but that’s OK. Ebb and flow baby, it’s all a part of life.

I don’t operate in the real world. I feel very lucky to be a highly functioning idiot. In my world, the good guys win and it’s entirely ok to break into song and dance.

Quartez the Killer, I used to use the instrumental intro for my zombie routine as a kid. I was in a teen contest once at Bill Brewe’s Magic Shop. The curtains open, my music starts, I start to float the ball when it all of a sudden it falls to the ground with a crash and breaks in half. Great way to start out in a competition.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Video du Jour • Click Here

Phenomenon-Something Sweet

Mike Super Interview

1) What were you feeling when you heard your named announced as the new Phenomenon?

When they announced my name it was very surreal... Even now I still don't believe it! All I remember is feeling relief that I wasn't voted off, and then a huge wave of happy sadness because I know my parents would've been so proud!! It was all I could do to keep it together. I remember thinking in my head, I'll replay this for the rest of my life.

2) The illusion with the money and newspaper was really unique. Where do you look for inspiration when coming up with fresh ideas?

The money and newspaper illusion came to be, because I was really striving to do a wide range of material on the show. I wanted all of my routines to be completely different. The biggest obstacle on the show was PROVING that everything was truly random. The live audience knows, but you must do things in such a way that the TV audience KNOWS it's random as well. So thats why i used the wind chamber to swirl the bills...because there's no way to control that...

AND that's why I used the prediction IN the USA Today. They hold it in their hands and know it couldn't be changed. So that was my primary inspiration for the dollar routine.

3) Do you believe in true paranormal or "mentalist" abilities?

Being a Christian, I absolutely believe in the spiritual side of life. I'd NEVER say it isn't possible, that God would bestow a special gift to a person. I also DO believe a bit in the paranormal, because my faith dictates I must. However, I believe they both have VERY rare manifestations in our world. I am by nature, very skeptical and think that most of the time everything can be explained thru natural means of deception. So you could say I'm a bit of a walking contradiction. I do, however, believe that my appearance on the show was an amazing example of how God works... I found out I got the show on what would've been my mother's birthday...and I was fortunate enough to win on what would've been my father's birthday! There's no way that's just coincidence!

4) If you could do one thing differently on the show, what would it be?

Absolutely nothing. My main goal was to remain true to who I was and be myself... I can honestly say I did that. So overall, even if I would've been voted off, I was happy with my material choices and my personality. That said, I'm VERY critical about myself and my performances... it's honestly hard for me to watch myself. I believe you can always improve your performance, no matter how much stage time you have.

5) What was your favorite, and least favorite, thing about being on Phenomenon?

My favorite thing about Phenomenon is two fold. In order they are, I made lifelong friends with the cast and the crew, and I got to reach MILLIONS of people with my performances! The cast and crew are now legitimately a part of my life and I'm really thankful for that. It was something I wasn't expecting. From the executive producers down to the cast, EVERYONE was down to earth and we became an all around family! The contestants even helped each other!!! Keep in mind this was a competition. It was a blessing to be involved in this show simply because of the people I've met and can now call my friends.

6) What's next for you?

This show has been amazing for my career... I owe the Executive Producers, Suzy, Michael, and Dwight a debt of gratitude I'll never be able to repay. I have several offers for my own TV show, I'm also currently working on a possible Vegas deal. I've even been offered some small movie parts which I'd love to do as well! But for right now, I'll definitely be pursuing my own magic series on TV...I have a concept that is completely fresh and has never been done. I'm REALLY excited about it! I'll also be touring City Theaters and Performing Arts Centers around the US, so I hope everyone that watched the show comes out and sees more of what I do! I'd like to thank my family, friends and EVERY person that voted and supported me throughout the show! My fans, old and new have been amazing! I love them all and if it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be where I am today!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

, originally uploaded by Dai Vernon.

1937 Magician Mickey, originally uploaded by Marklaro72.

Video du Jour • TF C & B's • Click Here

Saturday, December 01, 2007

FINALLY SOME RAIN IN VENICE, originally uploaded by venicewow.

Shawn Greer Clip • Click Here

From the archives. Shot in Cincinnati @ Riverfest in 1993


It rained yesterday. . . all day. . and into the late evening. We needed the rain and could use more, but we'll take what we get. I went to work anyway, hoping that it might clear up and I could do some shows. No go, rain continued so I went to a movie at the City Walk. This week has been for shit, work wise. I'd show up for work and it would be dead, so I'd see a movie instead. I've seen more movies in the last week and a half, than I did all summer. Most recently: No Country For Old Men, Beowulf (3D IMAX), and last night I went to Hitman.

Thursday night, dead at the City Walk. Checked out Hollywood & Highland not much better there. Hung out with Daniel Davenport for an hour before heading to the Paramount Back Lot to visit my girl. Bonnie the script supervisor joked that she sees me more than she sees her own husband. I love visiting Polly at work, seeing all the magic being made for your television viewing entertainment.

Yesterday Polly had a 9AM call time and didn't get off till 1AM. . . . another 16 hour day, OY! After the movie (Hitman), I paid her a visit at work. Hung out for a couple of hours both on set and in the trailer. Always fun for me to chat up the cast and crew. Last night I had some questions for the Sound Technician.

I split around 11PM or so and headed home.

Sometimes I wonder if I would enjoy working in the television and film industry. It's got to play hell on relationships. I'm pretty happy just the way things are. I've got the best of both worlds. A girlfriend in the business, and a work schedule that allows for nude sunbathing and cigar smoking. . . most every day of the week.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

, originally uploaded by Dai Vernon.

, originally uploaded by Dai Vernon.

Dirty Sexy Money Shooting Location

Went to have lunch with Polly where they were shooting yesterday. Los Angeles Center Studios is a full-service studio anchoring a constellation of entertainment-related companies on a 20-acre campus just west of downtown Los Angeles. The supportive, synergistic environment has created a dynamic community for individuals in the film, television, music, gaming, and other creative industries. They pride ourselves on being a customer service-focused resort for the entertainment industry. With 450,000 square feet of ‘Class A’ and production office space, six state-of-the-art sound stages, a backlot with numerous practical locations, and a full range of services and amenities available on-site, LACS is widely considered Los Angeles’ premier independent studio.

Very cool and always interesting to learn some tricks of the trade. Like how to make a lobby of a building look like baggage claim at an airport.

We had catered lunch with an army of extras, I got my mustache trimmed in the hair and make-up trailer. After lunch, it was back to the grind stone for everyone except me. I took up position behind video village and watched a bit of shooting.

Fake, fake, fake: Hot dog cart, fake. NYC Taxi, fake. NYC Street sign fake. . . and were not even gonna talk about the tits in this town.

Two notes of interest, Tim Matheson is directing this episode and Lolita Davidovich is a special guest. Always fun to watch movie stars at work. . . I think.

I just burned a hole in the front of my shirt, dropped cigar ash! Where is wardrobe when you need them. I’ll be needing a fresh shirt before we shoot.

Sylvester the Jester clip • Click Here

, originally uploaded by Dai Vernon.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Pennies from heaven

, originally uploaded by Dai Vernon.


Polly had a 5:12AM call time. Nobody likes that shit, especially after such a delicious, long holiday weekend. She was up at 4AM . . . ouch. As for me, I woke at 9, but strangely was not convinced to get out of bed. So I got the laptop, my cell phone and back in bed for another hour. I met Polly for lunch at noon, she had been at work 7 hours at that point. I was just getting my day started.

Picketers still doing their thing at Paramount. After lunch I called my pal Vaclav who lives in the area and asked him if he wanted to take a hike in Bronson Canyon at the end of his street off of Franklin Blvd. not far from the Magic Castle. He said yes, I was there in 10 minutes.

This is Vaclav. He’s an actor, magician, free diver and friend from Seattle. We don’t see that much of each other (cause this is LA baby), but we stay in touch. He just got back from Seattle, so it was nice to catch up on what’s going on there. I enjoy Vaclav’s company. Everyone’s got a dream, that’s just a rainbow away. That pot of gold. I used to be satisfied with gold pot. But I digress, we started our hike up the canyon, first visiting the shooting location for the TV show Batman. The Bat Cave exterior was shot there, cool huh. We saw a lonely coyote. I assumed he was lonely because he was alone. Who knows, could have been a girl coyote. Maybe not lonely at all, but content to have just eaten a small child. . . or better yet a WGA striker. This is really good pot.

People can say what they want about LA. What a cesspool of shit and pollution, crime and drugs, bla, bla bla. Fucking beautiful, that’s what I say. Hot enough to want to take my shirt off on the hike. A shame to retard the tanning process. This canyon is situated between Hollywood & Burbank.

We talked about magic, gigs, his acting career and the many struggles that all starving actors deal with in this town. It can be so confusing. Like whose cock do you have to suck anyways. I mean Criss Angel still has cum pouring out his ass and mouth.

This town rocks! We hiked for about an hour ending up as close to the Hollywood sign as I’ve been. Below the sign in the canyon is a horse ranch where you can rent horses for $25 an hour, that sounds fun. Hey, you don't think. Never mind.

Another enjoyable afternoon. Finished our hike got on the 101 and was home in 10 minutes

This evening, it was over before it even started at work. Attendance below 2000 at Universal Studios today, made for an early evening with little cash for me. But when your smoking good cigars and coming home to a smoking chick, life is good. Plus, I put her to bed, crank on the TiVo and “Am I Ready for Some Football?” Hell yes! Monday Night Football and the last of the turkey leftovers.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Creativity Challenge #2, originally uploaded by jackandcatcurio.


Nice Thanksgiving, nice evening at work last night. Nice, nice, nice. Another picture perfect day here in sunny California. Santa Anna winds blowing in warmer air from the desert. Not good for brush fires in Malibu, but good for morning sunbathing in N. Hollywood.

Nothing going on too much lately, just laying low, enjoying the passage of time. Work is turning around for me. Not sure if it’s the holiday season, or just my new direction of an all music set. I’m getting better reactions and hats. All part of the learning process. Been pushing my crowds out a bit more making my circle larger. Do what’cha can, know what I mean?

Polly had Thursday and Friday off so we’ve been enjoying some extra time with each other. Best friends, and very happy together. Lots of time spent in each others arms, lips locked and staring into each others eyes. Lots of fun. . . I think.

Waiting for my iPod to finish charging, think I'll rearrange my street show playlist to a new 3 song show.

1) 4 Ace Routine:Fancy Production into Dr. Daley's Last Trick to Jamie Cullum doing "I get a kick out of you"
2) Coin Routine, coin rolls, roll out to star, vanish and reproduction, coin falling up to Charlie Chaplin's "The Circus:Magician
3) Cups and Balls to Charlie Chaplin's " "The Gold Rush"

I've been breaking it up and doing the Stripper Deck Pitch after the coin routine, but it drags the tempo of the show down, in my opinion. All a work in progress. NO Mental Photography Decks for weeks, not sure if or when I will see more. That doesn't make me happy and messes with my income to put it bluntly.
Tom Frank • Magician

Friday, November 23, 2007

303/365, originally uploaded by Overread.

Chris Angel

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

, originally uploaded by Dai Vernon.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Recently sold on ebay

This is a 2 1/4" round antique pocket mirror advertising " Herrmann The Great.....Greatest Magician"....printed on back curl is "Julius Weber Reading PA".....This pocket mirror is not cut or damaged but it is in USED has bumps under the celluloid, some small brown stains at the bottom and some surface wear and light scratches so please bid accordingly.......

Sold for $1,536.00 WOW! for a little give a way pocket mirror

Street Performing

Street performing is a humbling experience, I routinely have my ego served up to me, usually, cut up in bite size pieces. Sometimes you go off on some poor motherfucker, the culmination of aggravating experiences over the course of a rough evening. It doesn’t make me feel good to admit that I let a teenager get under my skin. Shit, they're just teenagers, that’s their job. It’s very important to keep my eye on the ball. What I’m talking about is taking everything in stride. This is a tough town by anybody's standards. Deal with the pitch, with love in my heart and a smile of my face. Entertain, mystify and hopefully show the poor bastards a good enough time that they’ll part with some of their cash.

Like Flat Top told me, “I want to be good enough that even the ignorant people get it.”

, originally uploaded by Dai Vernon.